Georgetown Heritage Walk/Gurney Road
Penang Travel Blog› entry 4 of 5 › view all entries
October 10th, 2009 – by: planisphere
After that very good breakfast, we started with our activity. We walked again towards the bus stop where we would take the Free Shuttle to the city.
Then we continued with our heritage walk, from the Esplanade we went to the City Hall. It is a white colonial building built with freshly painted exterior.
And the inevitable rain poured down, good thing we were already in Penang State Museum and had to take shelter there. We paid for the entrance and stayed there for few minutes. The collection inside was not really of my interest. I supposed I have seen better collection in Asian Civilisation Museum here in Singapore.
We decided to explore as far as the Protestant Cemetery, and in doing so, we passed by other heritage buildings such as Cathedral of the Assumption, Saint Xavier Institution, Leong Fee's Mansion and most important is the Blue Mansion. We arrived there at around 1 PM and the mansion is open to public at 3 PM. So we decided to look for a place to eat lunch. Another block was Hotel Continental, and from their menu, we decided to have another Non-local meal. They were serving pasta meal inclusive of soup, drinks and dessert. It was a good meal for a good price.
After the lunch, we went to our last point, the Protestant cemetery. And just as any other cemetery, the place is creepy and people with morbid sense of adventure would go there. After we finished exploring the cemetery, we went back to the Blue Mansion for their tour inside the house. The Blue Mansion, also known as Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is an old typical chinese mansion. It was owned by a very rich Chinese merchant whose wealth started with a marriage to a very rich chinese girl from Indonesia. In his lifetime, he had 8 wives and his favorite wife is wife number 7. That's is the only interesting part of the whole 1.5 hours of tour inside the house for me.
The tour was worth it. Besides, the house was used as the location for Oscar's Best Foreign Film - Indochine. Also, I am seeing some show here in Singapore which featured this house as well. The Blue Mansion, despite being grand was not over the top now campy and for me, it was a beautiful place to visit.
We wanted to try the rickshaw ride. And we did, after the tour in the Blue Mansion, we took a rickshaw to bring us to Perenakan Heritage Museum and the eventually to the Jetty. The Perenakan like the Blue Mansion was owned by a very rich and powerful chinese. The thing was, I has developed some sort of resistance to anything Perenakan or Chinese. I just had too much of it in this place. It was okay when we were in the Blue Mansion, but here, it was just too much. We didn't pay much attention to the tour guide, we took photos of the place - I loved the kitchen area actually but that's it, we continued with our rickshaw ride to the Jetty.
The good thing with the rickshaw ride, we were able to see the alleys that are not included on any brochures, seeing old house that are neglected but for me, there was just too much poetry seeing those buildings. There's too much sadness and at the same time, apathy. I just a sucker for this kind of stuffs. Anyway, once on the road, we got to see more temples, chinese or hindu and mosques. And the great part of the ride was to see locals do their normal life.
Then we reached the jetty. This place is consist of wooden houses forming a floating community by the sea. I would say that it is nothing new to me since we have something like this also but what surprises me is, the place is really clean and I would say, the place is decent enough to be called home.
After the jetty trip, we ask the rickshaw driver to bring us to the bus station. Our next stop would be Gurney Drive.
We took Bus 101 from Komtar and we reach Gurney Plaza after 30 minutes of bus ride and few minutes walk. I expected to try Penang local cruisine in Gurney Drive but once we got there, we decided to eat something safe - McDonalds! :)
I was just too tired by that time, and I just wanted to go home, take a bath and sleep. It was actually what we did. We took an old bus going back to Komtar then another bus ride back to the hotel We decided not to take any cab during this trip and so far, we broke this only once. :)
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